Monday, December 9, 2013

Remembering Nelson Mandela

By Dan Lehman
Professor of English
Ashland University

The death of Nelson Mandela this week took me back to an evening in 2004 during the tenth anniversary year of South African independence when I first truly understood the significance of Mandela and his impact on history. Like many North Americans, I had followed for several decades the struggle against South Africa’s racist system of apartheid. I had even joined a few anti-apartheid protests during the 1980s and thrilled to the Special AKA’s runaway ska dance hit, “Free Nelson Mandela.” And now, here I was, in South Africa myself for a year of teaching, and I was getting to know a young white Afrikaans English professor in the English department at Stellenbosch University near Cape Town.

We were comparing notes in that way that people do when they first meet one another and see the potential for a deeper professional friendship. Both of us named Daniel, both of us growing up within racist systems some 8,000 miles apart—he in South Africa under Apartheid and I during the 1950s in then-segregationist Virginia. Both of us recalled being trapped by the privilege of our skin color in a system with which we deeply disagreed. Both had worked in our own small ways for its eradication.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Upcoming Events - Fall 2013

Justice in Motion
: Responding to Changing Needs with Nicaragua’s Poor

Wednesday, October 30, 2013 7:00 p.m.

Ronk Lecture Hall, Schar College of Education Ashland University

Speakers are Pat and Kathy Floerke, members of the Jubilee Project. 

Kathy and Pat Floerke come to us from the Center for Development in Central America (CDCA), the Nicaraguan project of the non-profit, faith-based organization, the Jubilee House Community (JHC).  Before moving to Nicaragua in 1994, the JHC operated shelters for the homeless and battered women in Statesville, NC.  Working in Nicaragua for the past 19 years, the CDCA seeks to respond to human needs created by poverty in the second poorest nation in the western hemisphere. The CDCA focuses on justice now, working towards freedom from poverty, helping communities become self-sufficient, sustainable, democratic entities, specifically in the areas of
·        sustainable economic development
·        organic agriculture
·        appropriate technology
·        education
·        health care
They say, “The CDCA has been called to work with, and speak on behalf of, the poor in our area of Nicaragua, and to share their lives and stories with folk in the U.S., to bridge the gap between us and our neighbors.”  Tax-deductible donations & proceeds from craft sales go to the operating expenses of the project.

The event is co-sponsored with the Department of Foreign Languages, as part of the College of Arts and Sciences Against Indifference Symposium.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Slow Money

            Keeping dollars spent by consumers in the local community is a challenge and a goal for the economic well-being of communities such as Ashland.  Two programs in February will focus on local entrepreneurship development and how it benefits the local economy and the community.
“Slow Money” is a term that denotes keeping local money working in the local economy.  These “slow money” programs should be of interest to anyone who wants to support existing local businesses or think about starting a new business.  
The first program will show what has been done in southeastern Ohio with the Appalachian Center for Economic Networks. The second will focus on the possibilities of Ashland Main Street and will feature a panel of Ashland area entrepreneurs.
The first program, “Slow the Money; Invigorate the Economy”  will feature Leslie Shaller, director of programming for the Food Ventures program, a business incubation project of the Athens-area Appalachian Center for Economic Networks (ACENet). The presentation will be Tuesday, February 19, at 7 p.m. in the Ridenour Room, Dauch College of Business and Economics, on the Ashland University campus.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Candle Light Vigil: Honoring Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Remembering Sandy Hook School

Candle Light Vigil: Honoring Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Remembering Sandy Hook School 

When: Monday January 17, 2013 at 7 p.m.

Where: The upper level of Jack and Deb Miller Chapel on the Ashland University Campus.

A candlelight vigil against violence honoring Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and remembering those who were lost in the Sandy Hook School, Newtown, Connecticut tragedy will be held in the upper level of the Jack and Deb Miller Chapel on the Ashland University campus Monday, January 21, at 7 p.m.  The campus and the community are encouraged to attend.  The event is free and open to the public.
During the vigil the names of those lost at Sandy Hook will be read aloud with each name followed by silence to express solidarity with those directly affected by this tragedy.
The vigil has been initiated and organized by the Ashland Center for Nonviolence, which has an organizational vision of “seek[ing] a world in which human conflict at all levels can be resolved without resorting to violence and in which social justice can be realized.”   
“it seems fitting to honor the memory of King’s work by remembering some of the people whose lives have been lost to violence,” said  John Stratton, Executive Director of the Ashland Center for Nonviolence.  “This is a not a political statement,” he noted, “but a time to reflect on what is lost to the community, when lives are taken senselessly.”  
The public is welcome and encouraged to attend this one-hour vigil.